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August 26, 2010 A Penton Media Publication Vol. VIII No. 16

Surge Arrester Basics

What's Wrong Here?

Code Q&A

Code Quiz

Code Change Conferences Are Coming


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    NEC in the Facility
    Surge Arrester Basics
    The actual connection of surge arresters can be confusing. Thus, you must read Art. 280, Part II, carefully to get this right.

    In the NEC and other standards, the word "grounding" is often misused to mean "bonding." That isn't the case in Art. 280. It really does mean grounding (per Art. 100, "grounding" is an earth connection).

    Your decision on where to locate surge arresters has to account for your intended wiring scheme, keeping in mind that you want the grounding conductor(s) to be as short as is practical [280.12]. You can locate surge arresters indoors or outdoors, but either way you have to make them inaccessible to unauthorized personnel [280.11] (unless you get the surge arresters listed for installation in accessible locations and comply with the installation instructions for those).

    The grounding connection is crucial. Remember: The grounding conductor of a surge protector is not the same thing as an equipment "grounding" (bonding) conductor (EGC). With an EGC, you are eliminating differences of potential. Connecting an EGC to ground doesn't do anything but waste wire. However, with the surge protector, you are actually intending to establish a path to earth. Toward that end, 280.4 provides seven variations of such a path.

    Perform two-man jobs alone.
    Now you can work in two places at once. With the new Fluke 233 Wireless Remote Display Multimeter you don’t need the help of another person when reading the display.

    Code Violations
    What's Wrong Here?
    By Brian J. McPartland

    Think you know how this installation violates the NEC?

    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Hint: Protect and serve

    Cool Electronic Cabinets
    Stop electronic control downtime due to heat, dirt and moisture. Cabinet Cooler® Systems from EXAIR produce 20 degree Fahrenheit air from an ordinary supply of compressed air to cool electrical controls. Thermostat control minimizes air usage. Cabinet Coolers are UL Listed and maintain the NEMA 4, 4X and 12 rating of the enclosure. Web site offers detailed information, a video, CAD drawings, and PDF literature.

    Code Quandaries
    Code Q&A
    By Mike Holt
    Q. Is the electrical wiring system used to feed ceiling fixtures allowed to be supported by the ceiling support wires?

    Visit EC&M's Web site to see the answer.

    Code Challenge
    Code Quiz
    By Steven Owen
    With respect to interconnected electric power production sources (Art. 705), is it required to automatically disconnect a 3-phase primary power source from all ungrounded conductors when one of the phases opens to create a loss of power on one or more phases? For this example, exclude emergency or legally required standby systems — and exclude the exception for this rule.

    1. Yes, as per Sec. 705.42.
    2. No. This applies to single-phase systems only.
    3. No. This applies to 2-phase, 5-wire systems only.
    4. No. There is no such requirement in the 2008 NEC. This is considered a "best practice" suggestion.

    Visit EC&M's Web site for the answer and explanation.

    Shows and Events
    Code Change Conferences Are Coming
    The 2011 NEC is coming. Will you be ready for the changes? By attending one of EC&M's Code Change Conferences, presented by NEC expert Mike Holt and sponsored by EC&M University, you'll learn everything you need to know about major NEC changes that will impact your work, whether you're an electrician, electrical engineer, electrical designer, plant/facility electrical maintenance person, or electrical inspector. Check out the following conferences for a location and time that's right for you.

    • Atlanta — October 11-12, 2010, Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport Hotel
    • St. Louis — October 18-19, Sheraton Westport Hotel Lakeside Chalet
    • Chicago — November 1-2, Hyatt Regency Rosemont
    • Seattle —November 8-9, Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
    • Philadelphia —November 29-30, Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue
    • Boston —December 6-7, Venue to be determined
    • Orlando —December 13-14, Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport

    If you’re a registered professional engineer and attend one of the 2011 NEC Code Change Conferences, you'll be granted professional development hours (PDHs), a requirement for re-licensing. The program is also certified as an approved provider of Code Update training by those states requiring continuing education hours for re-licensing of journeymen, master electricians, and electrical contractors.

    Register now to attend one of the these events. For more details on the conferences and a full program, visit EC&M's website.

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